RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — No team suffered quite the heart break to end the 2014 season that the Monacan Chiefs did.
Leading Lake Taylor with just seconds to play, the Chiefs blocked what would have been the game-winning field goal and began to celebrate. As they did so, Lake Taylor eventually realized the ball was still live, picked it up, and ran it in for a touchdown to win the game.
The Titans went on to win the 4A State Championship. The Chiefs were left with an offseason focused on one word: finish.
“Obviously we didn’t finish that game,” third-year Head Coach Jim Henderson said. “There was a 90-yard drive that led to that field goal opportunity, so that’s a big thing we’ve talked about this whole offseason is get off to a good start but also we need to finish.”
Monacan returns most of its starting offensive and defensive lines from a team that started the season 3-2 and then reeled off eight-straight wins. Running back Khalik Hamlin and quarterback Syour Fludd are back as well. The Chiefs lost all four receivers from the 2014 campaign to graduation.
Monacan’s schedule got a little lighter this year. The Chiefs dropped 5A Mills Godwin and perennial 4A contender Dinwiddie and have picked up Glen Allen and Caroline County in their place, two teams that struggled in 2014.
Expect the Chiefs to get back to the playoffs in 2015. What they do once they get there will depend on how well they uphold that offseason mantra.
2013 ended in disaster for the Henrico Warriors, as many of the players who started the season were not around to finish it. It came as a bit of surprise to local media members, then, that the Warriors were one of the best teams in the area in 2014. The green and gold made the playoffs for the first time since 1999.
In 2015, Henrico is out to prove 2014 was the rule and not the exception.
Head Coach Gerald Glasco and company return nine of the eleven starters that made this team so fierce on defense. On offense, they bring back most of the offensive line and a group of athletic runners for its heavily ground-based attack.
The 2014 season ended for Henrico at the hands of the Hermitage Panthers in round one of the 5A playoffs. This year it will surprise no one if the Warriors return to that level of play.